Satnews Daily
February 25th, 2014

MaxLinear + Unitron Group—Stack Those Channels (SatBroadcasting™—SoC)

[SatNews] MaxLinear Inc. (NYSE: MXL) has announced that Belgium’s Unitron Group has selected the MxL86x family of digital channel-stacking system on chip (SoC) devices for its first digital multi-dwelling unit (MDU) satellite switch.

The MxL86x family of satellite digital channel-stacking SoCs, encompassing the MxL868, MxL865, and MxL862 devices, is based on MaxLinear’s Full-Spectrum Capture™ (FSC™) technology that captures the entire satellite spectrum. Unitron’s new MDU switch incorporating MaxLinear’s Full Spectrum Capture Technology is capable of distributing 24 channels of satellite content on a single cable to individual apartments in either single- or multi-channel configurations. The MxL86x devices are the industry’s first proven, satellite digital channel-stacking SoC solutions, thereby offering a significant time-to-market advantage for Unitron’s latest MDU switch product.

Previous, analog technology MDU switch solutions required multiple analog channel-stacking ICs, complex filtering circuits, and a dedicated micro-controller IC for executing the appropriate communication protocol for MDU applications. The MxL86x SoCs integrate the functionality of all of the above expensive and discrete devices in advanced 40nm digital CMOS process, which significantly reduces design complexity, system cost, and power consumption.

“The MxL86x product family has enabled a new wave of innovation in the Low Noise Block down-converter satellite outdoor unit market. We are now starting to see this momentum penetrate into the market for MDU switches,” said Brian Sprague, Vice President and General Manager for Broadband and Consumer Products.  “This is our second FSC-based product design with Unitron, which provides strong testimony to the significant advantages of this technology.”

Most recently, Unitron and MaxLinear also worked together on a 16-channel SAT>IP MDU switch based on the MxL584 Full-Spectrum Capture DVB-S/S2 receiver.

“Our goal is to be a leader in developing head end technology to deliver multi-channel satellite MDU services,” said Willy Lamaire, General Manager from Unitron.  “Using the MxL86x SoCs, we’re able to push the envelope in innovative features and capabilities for our customers in a way that is cost effective and low power.”

Technical Details
The MxL865 has five FSC wideband RF inputs with a single L-band IF output. The MxL865 supports a total RF capture bandwidth of 10 GHz. The MxL868 features eight FSC L-band RF inputs that can be configured for either residential or MDU ODU applications.  The device supports three intermediate-frequency (IF) output ports that can be configured for either dual-band/triple-band translation or channel-stacking applications. The MxL862 has two FSC wideband RF inputs with a single L-band IF output. The MxL862 supports a total RF capture bandwidth of 4.1GHz. The MxL86x family supports both FSK and DiSEqC / EN50607 operation on the IF ports. The devices come with a software environment that includes a real-time operating system running on an embedded 32-bit CPU with a complete set of APIs to control the band translation and channel stacking engine and the chip interfaces. The ultra small parts are packaged in a 10mm x 10mm QFN. The highly integrated devices also feature all major supporting analog functions, such as broadband input and output filters, RF gain blocks, PLLs and automatic gain control (AGC) functionality. Due to the high levels of system integration, the bill of material (BOM) in end applications is reduced to a minimal number of low-cost, passive components, which enables ultra-compact, low-cost system solutions when compared to existing analog implementations.

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